The win in Bahrain was really great and at least I had plenty of time to think about it, as I flew back to Sao Paulo via Europe in what turned out to be a very long nineteen hour journey. But now, Bahrain is in the past and all I am really thinking about is the next round of the championship. I am happy to be back home, because this will be my last visit here in Brazil for a very long time, with the first part of the European season coming up, followed by the two races in North America, so finding time to come back here is going to be difficult.
I am not complaining about it, because it is a real sign that my racing is going well, but here in Brazil it is getting harder for me to live a completely normal life when I leave my house. Everybody knows me and they are real fans, but they are not crazy. Usually, they just want to ask me for an autograph and that is okay with me. Step by step I am becoming more famous, but that goes with the job. Sometimes it is nice when people come up to you, because it gives you a motivation, but occasionally it can be a bit too much, but I can manage to deal with that and I try and live a normal life. And most of the time that I’ve been here in Brazil, a normal life is exactly what I have had, just relaxing and training. But there have also been some work related things, like a press conference as soon as I got here from Bahrain and I have appeared on a couple of TV shows. The weather is great here at the moment which is nice. Even if I am on the other side of the world, I still keep in touch with the factory and speak every other day with my engineer to know what is going on and how preparations are going for next week’s test in Barcelona. I like to keep in touch and know how things are going.
So if we are going to talk about “work” for a moment, looking at the last two races, it was clear that Malaysia did not go well for us, but in Bahrain we had an excellent race pace and now we need to concentrate on finding some improvements in the car, looking specifically at different phases of the race weekend, like qualifying and the race itself. We have been analysing everything to try and improve for Spain, even if the last race was quite good for us. This is a Ferrari habit and it’s a good one. After three races, this is a key moment in the championship, with the top runners all so close in the points. It is very tight, which makes it even more important to work even harder to improve every single little detail on the car.
I am leaving Brazil on the weekend, because I am testing on Wednesday in Barcelona, where we will have the fourth round of the championship just over a week later. The emphasis in testing has changed a lot this year, as in the past so much of our time was taken up with tyre testing. Actually, at the moment, tyre testing is still one of our main areas of work, but there are other areas of the car where we can improve. But it does mean that we are not concentrating on tyres quite as much as usual.
For now, I can still enjoy a few more days with my family and the really nice thing is that I will be with them and at home for my birthday which is on 25 April. Thank you for asking, I’ll be twenty six! We will have a small party and some friends are coming round to the house.”